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 Omaha music scene?

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MJ



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PostSubject: Omaha music scene?    Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:13 pm

Hey there. My hubby and I are considering a move to Omaha. One really important part of our decision is whether or not there is much of a music scene. We live in Minneapolis and have a lot of good music (rockabilly, blues, a bit of punk and surf comes through, too). I know Omaha has a lot of blues. and they do not have Brian Setzer living there ....
Any input would be helpful!
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Rickabilly

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PostSubject: Re: Omaha music scene?    Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:16 pm

I'm from Lincoln, but get to Omaha once in a while. There is an OK music scene that is getting better all the time, largely from local talent. It doesn't seem to compete with Minneapolis, though. Ironically, I've had a chat about relocating (in a few years) to Minneapolis.

As far as a music scene, I guess it depends on what kind of music you like. Here in Lincoln, we're on a roll. The Legendary Shack Shakers, Stone River Boys (Dave Gonzales' band who is recording their latest album in Lincoln) Dale Watson, Royal Southern Brotherhood, and Tommy Castro have all shown up around Lincoln in the past week and a half, and local rockabillies the Mezcal Brothers scored an opening slot on the upcoming Rev Horton Heat show later this month. If you consider Lincoln a suburb in extreme western Omaha, then your scene expands a bit.

And if you're willing to drive for the bigger shows, you're just about 2.5 hrs to Kansas City, and 2 hrs to Des Moines. Knuckleheads in KC has this incredible line-up of fantastic shows 3-4 times a week. If I lived there, I'd have to budget for tickets and drinks no less than 3 times a week at that place. We had to trek to KC last week to see The Hillbilly Casino, and they are coming to the Des Moines area next week, but they just didn't get Omaha on their agenda this time. They've been to Omaha at least twice and Lincoln once, and continue to expand their touring area.

One link specifically for Omaha you might find helpful is SLAM Omaha. SLAM stands for "Support Local Arts and Music." Or not. It seems to really emphasize local musicians, and not the regional acts that make the music scene more attractive.

There are old theatres that attract Broadway and other productions, university theatres that land comedians, and of course many clubs scattered throughout neighborhoods old and new. I'm particularly fond of the old Sokol Hall ballroom where I saw Setzer on the Dirty Boogie tour in 1998.

There is a large arena that attracts about half the big acts that are touring. There are usually several festivals that bring in B-list acts that wouldn't be in arenas, like Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. But perhaps the biggest surprise is Stir Cove, a casino venue in Council Bluffs, that brings in something for everyone, from Buddy Guy to Chicago to the Indigo Girls to Huey Lewis and more. Check out their summer lineup HERE.

I hope this gives you an introduction to the area from someone in that West Omaha suburb of Lincoln.

Best of luck on your decision. It's a pretty nice city even without considering the music options.

Nebraska-billy
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MJ



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PostSubject: Re: Omaha music scene?    Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:32 pm

Thank you Rickabilly for sharing such a wealth of information! I did mean to include Lincoln, actually. We were just in Omaha last weekend visiting family and saw that we just missed Tommy Castro. Great to see that there is a fair amount of good music ... I love the Shack Shakers, the Rev, Dale Watson (who will be here next month I think ), etc. We really prefer smaller venues to stadium shows, but sometimes you have to go to the arenas to see certain acts.

I know I can't compare Omaha to Minneapolis, but I would hate to give up too much. In addition to a thriving music (and cultural) scene, the Minneapolis area has beautiful lakes, parks, and outdoor activities that the Omaha area does not seem to have. I have heard, though, that the car/hotrod scene is pretty big. That would be great! Car culture here is not what it used to be, we have lost all of the cruising spots and the weekend car stuff is dying. We do have a few great car shows.

So, why are you thinking about a move to the Minneapolis area? Because the man the myth the legend is here?! Razz
It is a great area and I have lived here my whole life. I'd be happy to share any info or help with anything if you need .
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Rickabilly

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PostSubject: Re: Omaha music scene?    Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:43 pm

I would think there have to be larger forces at work that would pull you away from Minneapolis to Omaha. Because you are correct, there are no lakes in Nebraska that can hold a candle to anything in Minnesota. People here consider Lake Okoboji in Iowa a treat - (Child, please!) There are state parks, but the land around here for the most part is flat, flat, flat! State Game and Parks can promote all they want - it's just not Minnesota. (Though Western Nebraska does have Carhenge.)

Also, Nebraska has less than 2 million people in the entire state. That's not even a suburb in most cities. Consequently, we have a much smaller tax base. The taxes are ridiculous compared with Minnesota. Especially the vehicle taxes. That's one of the biggest complaints I've heard from people who move here - how much it costs to register your vehicles.

Omaha has a nice zoo - but even that pales in comparison to the Minnesota zoo (so I've heard.) We have a minor league baseball team (you have all 4 major pro sports - but then that includes the Twins and the Timberwolves...)

Not sure how real the Hot Rod scene is up in Omaha, especially when compared to KC. It's definitely stronger than in Lincoln.

I still dig the music scene. Because Interstate 80 and Interstate 29 both run through Omaha, you will see a lot of the same acts that go through Minneapolis, and maybe some that won't get that far north. Of course, we're a lot farther drive to the Oneida Casino in Wisconsin, where you can see a lot of great acts that might not make it to either Minneapolis or Omaha.

I grew up part Minnesotan. I spent many summers on a lake in Otter Tail County, about 2.5 hrs from Minneapolis. Many of my friends up there were actually from the Twin Cities area. After many visits over the years, I often felt it would be a fantastic place to live, even with the snow. They know how to clear roads in MN. Not so much in Omaha or Lincoln. I love the parks, the stores, the schools, the music scene, the abundance of available outdoor activities (and that's just in the Minneapolis area!) But I still have kids in school, and I do love the schools in Lincoln, plus they couldn't be without their mother, and I could not be without them, so until that nest is empty (about 8 years from now) moving is not an option. And no, Setzer is not a factor in that decision Very Happy . It doesn't mean I wouldn't geek out a bit if I stumbled upon him sitting in some night, but who knows if he'd still be there in 8 years?

Take my gripes regarding Nebraska with a grain of salt (or kernel of corn). Remember, I'm the one that wants to be in Minnesota, while you're the one who is considering Nebraska. Both places rock. I happen to think one rocks a little harder.

Dilemma-billy

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johnnykool327

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PostSubject: Re: Omaha music scene?    Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:04 am

Lets remember the most important things...

Th Minnesota zoo is a 4 minute drive from my house.

Target field is the best stadium in baseball. Midway is the worst.

We have first ave.

We also have BK.


Minnesota is, without a doubt, the place to be.


Move-on-over-Rickabilly.

And MJ, just stay, you know you want to.


-BK
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MJ



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PostSubject: Re: Omaha music scene?    Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:52 am

Hey Johnnykool!! How's it going? How's fatherhood??
Yes, BK is here (about 5-6 miles from my house)!! Very Happy

Plus, Minneapolis music scene cannot be compared to Omaha.
You are right, we have First Ave (plus Lee's, the Fine Line, the 400, the Cabooze...). I am not a big baseball fan, but Target Field is INCREDIBLE!
This whole idea of moving is more driven by my hubby wanting to move there. I would actually prefer the Black Hills, but then, outside of bike week, there is zilch musically!
Fortunately, we aren't looking at this any time in the near future, more like at least 4-5 years.

I appreciate your input JK and Rickabilly!

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